iOS users may be looking forward to the Apple Watch Series 6, and all the advancements that's going to come with it, but Android users don't have one defining smartwatch that separates itself from the pack. Do you go with the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, a hybrid from Fossil, a FitBit Versa, a Huawei GT2?
Oppo is throwing its hat into the ring with its own Oppo smartwatch, a device that looks very, very similar on the surface to the Apple Watch. However, a new image recently released onto the net shows the watch's menu screen, running what appears to be Google's Wear OS.
In the image (as seen above) we can see the Oppo smartwatch with curved glass on its settings menu screen. Yiren Shen, vice president for Oppo, has previously stated the curved 3D glass is a "game changer" for smartwatches. 3D and 2.5D curved glass has appeared on smartphones before, but it's unusual to see the technique employed on a device of this size.
The end result looks great. For what's sure to be a smartwatch on the affordable end, the 3D glass creates a slick, premium effect. With the first image released by Oppo (below) we're seeing the watch with both black and white colorways, including straps. The Oppo smartwatch veers away from being a full Apple Watch clone by ditching the twisting crown, instead opting for two side-on buttons.
Honestly, can we even blame Oppo for aping Apple's design choice at this point? Apple Watch so dominates its share of the market that the heavily rounded square has become an iconic smartwatch shape. If Oppo is looking to make an affordable Android smartwatch, it's a smart move to mirror one of the most successful designs on the market. It could certainly be confused with an Apple Watch at first glance.
However, there's a little discrepancy with the origin of the image. Although plenty of people in the tech sphere are treating the image as official, news outlet Slashgear (opens in new tab) isn't convinced. Having originated on Chinese social media site Weibo (opens in new tab), the outlet asks whether it was instead created as a concept by a third-party render artist. So far, Oppo has been quiet on the matter.
If the image isn't official, there's a chance it won't run Google's Wear OS as that's not been confirmed yet. With Oppo devices a rare occurrence in the States, the Chinese telecoms company could have access to Google products, whereas Huawei (the biggest name-brand Chinese telecoms company operating internationally) doesn't get that privilege anymore.
However, Oppo's existing smartphones run Android, so unless things change between now and the phone's release, there's no reason why Wear OS would be unavailable to Oppo unless Google extends its ban from Huawei to a larger group of Chinese telecoms firms.
Could we see Oppo's devices grabbing a wider share of the market thanks to this Apple Watch lookalike? Watch this space.
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